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Offbeat News

Oui oui: France's presidential pooch leaves palace puddle

Paris - President Emmanuel Macron's dog Nemo has been filmed casually peeing on an ornate fireplace at the Elysee Palace as the French leader met with members of his government.

Coin-tossing elderly Chinese woman causes flight chaos

Shanghai - She was flying Lucky Air, but that wasn't enough for an elderly Chinese woman who tossed coins at the jet's engine to wish for a safe flight, prompting authorities to detain her and ground the flight.

China mobile users tap phones to 'applaud' president's speech

Bejing - Missed out on the orchestrated applause at China's Communist Party Congress? Cheer up: this being China, you can join the praise through your mobile phone.

Japan zoo mourns death of love-struck penguin

Toukyo - An elderly penguin who shot to fame in Japan after falling in love with a cardboard cut-out of a cartoon character has died, at the ripe old age of 21.

Green fingers: Japan sending garden-repair teams abroad

Toukyo - Tokyo plans to send green fingers to every corner of the world on a mission to spruce up Japanese-style gardens that have fallen into disrepair.

Leopard on the loose in Indian car factory

New Delhi - Wildlife officials and police were on the hunt Thursday for a leopard on the loose inside a factory run by India's largest car manufacturer, officials said.

Lovelorn koala nabbed after zoo escape in hunt for mate

Sydney - Australian wildlife staff needed a crane to rescue a lovelorn female koala who escaped from her enclosure at the start of her first mating season, impatient to find a partner.

Metro is just the ticket for Paris fashion show

Paris - Paris Fashion Week went underground in more ways than one when a rising young avant-garde designer held her show on the city's metro.Berlin-based Andra Dumitrascu had to think quickly when the venue for her show late Friday fell through at last minute....

'Ball in EU's court' as Boris Johnson gets ping-pong present

Prague - Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday received a toy table-tennis set from his Czech counterpart, a gift intended as a reflection of his country's back-and-forth talks with the EU.

'Mentally deranged US dotard' and other North Korean insults

Seoul - America's President is many things to many people but "mentally deranged US dotard" is perhaps the most memorable of names to have yet been coined for the billionaire reality television star-turned world leader.

Booze, Porsches and secrets: Germany's candidates get real

Berlin - Germany's 2017 election campaign, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to cruise to a fourth term, may have been widely panned as a snoozefest. But a closer look reveals that the candidates themselves are anything but dull.

Brazil's economy needs your prayers: minister

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil's economy has taken such a battering that veteran Economy Minister Henrique Meirelles wants serious help: your prayers.

British cyclist set to beat Phileas Fogg's round the world dash

Paris - British adventurer Mark Beaumont is set Monday to better the fictional exploits of Phileas Fogg -- by going around the world in under 80 days on a bicycle.

Fun's over: China's shared sex dolls snuffed out

Bejing - China's rentable sex dolls have been yanked off the market and the firm responsible for them has apologised, just days after the "shared girlfriends" began strutting their silicon stuff.

Liquid cats and blood-sucking bats: 2017's Ig Nobel awards

Paris - Can a cat be both liquid and solid at the same time? Have vampire bats developed a taste for human blood? Will holding a crocodile bolster or blunt your gambling drive?

Safe cocaine snorting 'kit' under fire in Spain

Madrid - A northern Spanish city is under fire for distributing advice on how to safely snort cocaine.Plastic cards the size of credit cards -- a tool of choice for cocaine users -- were handed out by the health department in Bilbao.

Australian PM defends baby and beer photo

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brushed off criticism Monday of a photo of him nursing a beer while holding his granddaughter as online "craziness".

French pranksters replace holy water with alcohol

Besan - Tourists visiting a church in the picturesque French town of Chateau-Chalon were surprised to discover that local pranksters had replaced the fonts' holy water with alcohol, the local tourism office said Friday.

Fake Brazilian warzone 'photographer' duped BBC and others

Bras - He went by the name Eduardo Martins and portrayed himself as a Brazilian war photographer who worked for the UN, liked to help people and who had a fondness for surfing.

Brazilian police find suitcases of cash linked to ex-politician

S - Brazilian police on Tuesday found suitcases overflowing with millions of dollars worth of cash in an apartment believed to be linked to a former government minister accused of corruption.

Mug shots: facial recognition nabs crooks at China beer fest

Bejing - Criminals looking for a quiet pint suddenly found themselves collared when cops used facial recognition technology to catch thirsty crooks at a Chinese beer festival.

As pope looks on, Venezuelan asks girlfriend to marry

Rome - A young Venezuelan lawmaker saw a meeting with Pope Francis as an auspicious time to pop the question, getting down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend while the pontiff looked on.

Aussie deputy PM a frontrunner for 'Kiwi of the Year'

Wellington - Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was named as a frontrunner in the New Zealander of the Year awards Friday, amid a constitutional crisis in Canberra over his unwanted Kiwi citizenship.

The secret life of dodos, revealed

Paris - Has any animal suffered greater ignominy than the ill-fated dodo?"A strange and grotesque specimen of bird... bearing a ridiculous bent bill," was the verdict of early 17th century Dutch admiral and explorer Wybrand van Warwijck.

Steer clear of screens and masturbation, Chinese military recruits told

Shanghai - The Chinese military is fretting about the growing number of would-be recruits failing its stringent fitness test, but says it has the answer: avoid masturbating and playing computer games.

UK firefighters feel heat over piglet BBQ

London - British firefighters were feeling the heat on Wednesday after eating "fantastic" sausages made from piglets they themselves had saved from the flames, prompting the ire of animal rights activists.

SEA Games: Brunei's 'hot royal' sparks selfie stampede

Kuala Lumpur - A polo-playing prince from Brunei set off frenzied scenes when he was mobbed by fans at the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, where a group of athletic royals has been in the limelight.

World's largest samosa record smashed in London

London - The world record for the largest samosa was smashed in London on Tuesday by a whopping version of the popular Asian snack weighing in at 153.1 (337.5 pounds) kilogrammes.

Rodents force Nigerian president to work from home

Lagos - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will work from home after rodents damaged his official office during a more than 100-day overseas medical absence, a presidential spokesman told AFP Tuesday.

Horse-mad Turkmenistan claims to break strange world record

Ashgabat - Turkmenistan claimed Tuesday that the Central Asian country had broken a niche world record by building the world's "largest horse head sculpture" ahead of a sporting event it is preparing to host.
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